Spectacular Translation Machine comes to Europalia

Spectacular Translation Machine in London. Photo ©Carole Mendy

Spectacular Translation Machine in London. Photo ©Carole Mendy

When I was Translator in Residence at the Free Word Centre in London, I had the opportunity to work on a fantastic event entitled the Spectacular Translation Machine, an initiative from the British Centre for Literary Translation first hosted at the Southbank Centre. I wrote about my experience on Phoenix Yard Book's blog about the "Line of Fire" book, which was the work we focused on in London. 

If you're curious about the Spectacular Translation Machine, the wonderful Sarah Ardizzone is running another one at the Edinburgh Book Festival on 29 August

I got so inspired by the experience that I have since then dreamed of bringing the project into one of my projects outside of the UK (I am still dreaming of doing this in Turkey... if anyone wants to join forces). Being the Literature Curator of Europalia Festival for the Turkey edition has given me that opportunity. I am very happy to say that as part of the arts programme of this international festival focusing on Turkey in 2015-16, we are bringing the Spectacular Translation Machine to Brussels. Save the following dates in your agenda if you're in town:

  • 28 & 31 October 2015 @ Muntpunt, Brussels 
  • 05 December 2015 @ Librairie Le Wolf, Brussels 
  • 16 January 2016 @ PointCulture, Brussels

During these days, we will be working on a Turkish illustrated book by Feridun Oral, in collaboration with YAPI KREDI PUBLISHING in Turkey. 

I love Feridun Oral's works. His illustrations are beautiful, and the stories are truly moving. His early creative influence come from the tales told by his grandmother. Here's an excerpt of a presentation from A Journal of Internation Literature:

Animals are the subjects of much of Oral’s art and stories. He believes that children have an innate love of animals and that this love must be fostered and developed to teach children to love each other and themselves, and to appreciate nature. His characters are always well considered and strike a balance between realism and surrealism. The animals he draws are notable for their expressive features and actions. These expressions help children to identify with the animal characters in his books.


Europalia is currently looking for volunteers who know Turkish and can help the general audience during these days to translate the work into French, Dutch and English (you don't need to master all three, just Turkish to one language is enough!). See this Facebook post for further details about the call for volunteers. 

And below is a teaser of the whole festival, which will last from 6 October 2015 until 31 January 2016. I hope you can join the festivities and discover the many cultures of Turkey.